London – Chinese tire maker Linglong Tyre has chosen north Serbia as the location for its first European production plant, according to a source close to the project.
The plant capacity is expected to include 10 million passenger car tires, 2 million truck and bus tires as well as 10,000 off-the-road tires a year.
The ERJ source did not comment further on the investment cost of the project or about suppliers involved in the project.
Linglong announced last summer that it had received interest from Belgium, Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic for the possible plant, which would be the Chinese company’s second outside of China.
In July last year, Linglong chairman and president Wang Feng met with Serbia’s new president, Aleksandar Vucic, during Vucic’s swearing-in ceremony.
Linglong — the world’s No. 20 tire maker with 2015 sales of $1.35 billion — is pursuing a “3+3″ strategy, which envisions three plants in China and three based overseas with combined annual capacity of 90 million tires.
The company opened its first overseas plant in 2014, a passenger tire factory in Chonburi, Thailand, and added capacity in 2015 for truck/bus tires and earlier this year disclosed plans to add capacity for 400,000 bias-ply tires there.